The hilltops: Antigua’s less recognized gems

I was in Antigua, actively exploring, for two weeks before I discovered that Santo Domingo del Cerro (meaning Santo Domingo of the hill) even existed. 

Someone had off-handedly told me before I arrived that I should go to “the sculpture park.” After hearing nothing about it in town, after a few weeks I started searching online and found the location, although there was very little information and very few photos. Even Google Maps added to the confusion, suggesting it wasn’t possible to walk to the hilltop when I attempted to retrieve directions.

When I brought up the hilltop attraction to new friends that lived in the city — with the exception of my Airbnb host, who also worked as a tour guide —  I was met with vacant expressions. 

Santo Domingo del Cerro? What’s that? A couple people assumed I meant Cerro de la Cruz, the popular short hike up to an oft-Instagrammed lookout.

So upon making the ascent up one of the many hills that borders Antigua, I didn’t expect too much. A green lawn with a dozen or two sculptures, perhaps. And likely, a good view.

Instead, I was completely blown away by what ultimately became one of the highlights of my stay.